Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Anti-Anxiety Ride

A close friend that happened to be a therapist once told me, "There is no such thing as 'free-floating' anxiety. A root cause always exists." My assumptions had been challenged and her statement caused much reflection then and now, 20 years later.

I wake up this morning feeling reasonably sane. My adult children are ensconced in their respective bedrooms because they like to come back to the nest now and then. An editing task with a deadline defines the morning hours (a good thing). Life has a tinge of normalcy.

As soon as the work of the blue light hours is completed -  around noon when the light transitions to orange - free floating anxiety strikes. That awful feeling in the chest signals panic and sets off alarm bells. My body seems poised to run, but my thinking brain reminds me that I am in a house and there are no enemies a foot. Then my therapist-friend's remark comes back to me. "There is no such thing as free-floating anxiety."

So I do what my Buddhist teachers tell me to do. I lay my body down to rest on a comfortable ergonomic chaise in the bright sunlight and practice what is popularly termed "mindfulness." In other words, becoming aware of "the what is" when one's consciousness has become lost in a dreamland of nightmares.

The root cause surfaces to be transformed. The fear of being alone without my mate, the terror of being abandoned on a lonely planet. An irrational thought, but one that has caused a flurry of vivid discomfort just moments before.

The sun scorches my freckled face; wind rustles tree leaves; birds twitter and tweet; heavy machinery groans in the distance. 

Life exists and I am part of it.

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